Watch out aged care, RVA’s all grown up

With national advocacy, accreditation and research front and centre of its current strategic plan, the Retirement Village Association is looking for a seat at the NACA table to be part of the solution for housing and caring for older Australians.

Above: Andrew Giles, RVA Chief Executive, speaking at the RVA National Conference 2011 in Melbourne on Tuesday

By Keryn Curtis

The Retirement Village Association (RVA) is coming of age.  After three decades – only ten as a national group – the retirement village industry has achieved a new level of maturity, according to its CEO, Andrew Giles.

Addressing the RVA national conference in Melbourne this week, Mr Giles announced RVA’s appointment of a new Canberra-based General Manager of National Advocacy, Gail Morgan, and told delegates that the Productivity Commission’s (PC) report, Caring for Older Australians, presented a great opportunity for the retirement village industry to increase its dialogue with government.

Above: RVA’s newly appointed general manager national advocacy, Gail Morgan

“Advocacy is the first pillar of the RVA’s strategic plan and we want to ensure the retirement village industry has a seat at the table with Government and other stakeholders as a critical element in responding to the challenges of providing housing and care for senior Australians over the next thirty or forty years.

“Retirement villages will play an increasing role in housing but also in caring for people in the future.  There is a powerful economic and social argument for retirement villages and our service offering is now much more around an acknowledgement of the role that retirement villages can play in the continuum of care.”

Mr Giles told Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) that there was a significant opportunity for innovation in the retirement village arena.  

“There’s a lot of innovation occurring already, with things like wellness approaches and rental models, the emergence of manufactured home parks, partnerships around provision of community care, potential new funding models for residents. And there are groups forming where they want to continue to keep their assets relevant and they’re looking at how they might extend their service provision to be better in line with what people want.”

Mr Giles also told Australian Ageing Agenda that he would welcome the opportunity for the RVA to become a member of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA), working closely with the Minister, the Commonwealth and other stakeholders in responding to issues around the PC report and its recommendations.

“Historically that group was established by aged care.[…] But now we’re seeing increasingly a range of issues associated with older people that are nationally significant issues to do with housing and care and we have to be part of the government’s thinking and their solution. So we would welcome the opportunity to be part of that group.”

“We need to advocate to ensure retirement villages are afforded the same policy importance as the aged care sector in meeting the needs of older Australians,” he said.

Chairman’s report

RVA Chairman, Simon Owen, congratulated Andrew Giles on his leadership of the organisation through a difficult period.

“RVA has had some tough times and it’s pleasing to say Andrew Giles has done a great job steering us through difficult times.”  

Mr Owen said the membership profile of the RVA had changed over the last few years, partly due to consolidation within the industry but also due to an increasing number of not for profit groups joining the organisation.

“RVA has made some significant inroads into attracting not for profits and we really are quite a broad church now, which is a fantastic step forward.  

“With our increasing focus on advocacy, we want to establish and build upon and support key networks and relationships with government. We want to do more research and get involved with social and economic policy input,” Mr Owen said.

Tags: andrew-giles, conference, retirement-villages, retirment-village-association, rva, simon-owen,

5 thoughts on “Watch out aged care, RVA’s all grown up

  1. Thank you,
    Could you please advise what changes have the RVA brought forward to improve the financial return of capital to residents when vacating their premisses.
    eg. Reduce “Departure Fee” of 35 to 40% after 10 years .

    When a resident needs to move on to a care facility
    it can take for ever to receive a pay out of their funds.
    Please lobby the NSW Government to bring forward a Date to REVIEW and amend the RV Act & Regulations .

    Could the RVA provide funds for legal support for residents who wish to vacate their village .



  2. Why RVA when ACCA and ACSA look after villages also and when those organisations understand care issues.

  3. I will believe that RVA is really interested in village residents when It listens to the complaints of residents about breeches of the law by retirement village managers. What is the so called RVA accreditation worth if RVA then just walks away from following up on incidences where the terms of such accreditation are not dhered to.
    RVA can also prove it is serious when it addresses the unjust imposition of exit fees on residents and the failure to disclose the amounts collected by managers for these exit fees.These fees are aalsso unccccompetitative. I ddon’t know how reetirement village proprietorss get away with it when banks cannot.

  4. The RVA is dreaming if they think the Government will listen to an organisation that houses only 5% of the population.

    George, the RVA is a membership body for the owners, developers and managers of retirement villages, NOT the residents. Why would they seek to reduce the exit fees that have proved so lucrative to their bottom line? Suggest you get in touch with the RVRA, who do represent residents.

  5. Respectful message to Ms Morgan, Mr Owen and Mr Giles:

    If you’re really serious about turning your RVA-accredited villages into pleasant places where residents will no longer be financially screwed and stood-over by unfair operators and village management, you must implement management systems that will wipe out past dishonesty and train your members’ management to respect elderly consumers’ rights under consumer law. Do that and you’ll have a healthy industry. If the next generation of residents can’t recognize honesty in business and protection of their rights and finances, your whole industry future will be in jeopardy.

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